Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

'Private' tonsure as a reader


  • Please log in to reply
25 replies to this topic

#1 Reader Paul A. Barrera

Reader Paul A. Barrera

    Junior Poster

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 16 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 24 November 2012 - 05:10 PM

Hello,

There is a man at my church who may be tonsured a reader on our parish feast day. The feast day is in the middle of the week, so not many people plan to come. Does this make it a "private" event? Is tonsure to this rank supposed to be more "public" ceremony, one that is experienced by more people in the parish in order to draw the congregation into this man's life of service?

--Paul

#2 Paul Cowan

Paul Cowan

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,064 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 24 November 2012 - 05:22 PM

Our Bishop does all the tonsuring here. When ever the Bishop visits, we have a full house.

Paul

#3 Richard A. Downing

Richard A. Downing

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 240 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 25 November 2012 - 02:15 AM

The rubrics call for reader tonsuring to be done before the Liturgy. Mine was done in the Hour before the Liturgy, and there were not many people present, Archbishop, 3 Priests, a heirodeacon, and the Choir. Now I'm a subdeacon, I get to help with tonsuring, there are never a lot of people, unlike for an Ordination. I was under the impression that private services were against the canons, but I can't quote one.

#4 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:16 AM

I cannot see that tonsuring on a weekday makes it private. If anyone can attend who is able, it is not private.

#5 Fr Raphael Vereshack

Fr Raphael Vereshack

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,420 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member
  • Verified Monastic Cleric

Posted 25 November 2012 - 01:51 PM

Hello,

There is a man at my church who may be tonsured a reader on our parish feast day. The feast day is in the middle of the week, so not many people plan to come. Does this make it a "private" event? Is tonsure to this rank supposed to be more "public" ceremony, one that is experienced by more people in the parish in order to draw the congregation into this man's life of service?

--Paul


Nothing done in the Church is private or just applies to the individual involved.

Rather even if only a few people are physically present, if it is done in the Church then it involves the whole Church.

An example of this would also be- if we attend a weekday Liturgy and only a couple of people besides the priest are present, we still are involved in the life of the whole Church.

This occurs though through Christ while we are at the service and it connects us to the whole Church for all ages.

In Christ
-Fr Raphael

#6 Jim McQuiggin

Jim McQuiggin

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 55 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 25 November 2012 - 07:38 PM

Your fellow parishioners should be attending services on your Patron's Feast Day. The tonsuring will make it even more special. We need to get past the mindset that says Orthodoxy is a Sunday-only event. We also need to get past the mindset that says Orthodoxy is a series of events. Your bishop and priest are quite right in encouraging all to attend.

#7 Eric Peterson

Eric Peterson

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 397 posts

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:51 AM

It's hard to keep things private when the hosts of heaven keep dropping by.

#8 John Konstantin

John Konstantin

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 342 posts

Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:32 PM

Where the Bishop is, the Church is.

#9 Reader Luke

Reader Luke

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 145 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 27 December 2012 - 01:05 AM

Is it possible or proper to have another Bishop (even from another jurisdiction) tonsure you as a reader if your Bishop is suspended, on leave, out of the country or even if you have no appointed Bishop?

#10 Herman Blaydoe

Herman Blaydoe

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,157 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 27 December 2012 - 02:07 AM

The Bishop is the shepherd. The priests and other clergy serve through the authority of the Bishop. No bishop; NO authority, no sacrament, no grace, no Church.

When our bishop fell asleep, we were under the authority of another bishop until our own bishop could be ordained.

#11 Reader Luke

Reader Luke

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 145 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 27 December 2012 - 03:24 AM

The Bishop is the shepherd. The priests and other clergy serve through the authority of the Bishop. No bishop; NO authority, no sacrament, no grace, no Church.

When our bishop fell asleep, we were under the authority of another bishop until our own bishop could be ordained.


The first part isn't entirely true. If a Bishop is a heretic, he may as well not exist as far as the church is concerned and the Priests can still operate even while their Bishop ceases to be Orthodox.

Also, the Holy Spirit is present within every parish, we aren't Roman Catholics and we don't have a legalistic belief of authority and grace belonging only to a Bishop.

Sadly, there are some Orthodox who've adopted this idea under influence from the Roman Catholics, and therefore we get some screwed up ideas of our ecclesiology such as the false belief that being Orthodox means that one's Bishop is in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch. Or that if one's Bishop is excommunicated, then that means they (the laypeople) are also excommunicated. Neither of which are actually true in any way.

#12 Dcn Alexander Haig

Dcn Alexander Haig

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 324 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 27 December 2012 - 08:03 AM

If a Bishop is a heretic, he may as well not exist as far as the church is concerned and the Priests can still operate even while their Bishop ceases to be Orthodox.


This is not true - even if he is a heretic he is still the bishop until such time as he is removed by his synod. As Herman has stated, at such a time the diocese will be placed under the authority of another bishop until the election of a new bishop. No priest can serve without the authority of his bishop, even if there seems to be an unjust situation. I agree the Holy Spirit is present within every parish, or even when just two or three are gathered together, but this does not remove the centrality of the bishop within our Church.

In Christ
Rdr Alexander

#13 Herman Blaydoe

Herman Blaydoe

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,157 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 27 December 2012 - 02:22 PM

The first part isn't entirely true. If a Bishop is a heretic, he may as well not exist as far as the church is concerned and the Priests can still operate even while their Bishop ceases to be Orthodox.

Also, the Holy Spirit is present within every parish, we aren't Roman Catholics and we don't have a legalistic belief of authority and grace belonging only to a Bishop.

Sadly, there are some Orthodox who've adopted this idea under influence from the Roman Catholics, and therefore we get some screwed up ideas of our ecclesiology such as the false belief that being Orthodox means that one's Bishop is in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch. Or that if one's Bishop is excommunicated, then that means they (the laypeople) are also excommunicated. Neither of which are actually true in any way.


I am afraid I can't agree with this. The RCs have a theology that says an ordained priest remains so forever. This is in direct contradiction to the Orthodox teaching that a priest only serves as the "placeholder" for the bishop and stops being a priest once the bishop says so. An Orthodox priest cannot serve the Divine Liturgy unless he has a signed antimins from a recognized bishop in good standing. No antimins, no Eucharist.

Your reasoning has been put forward by certain schismatic groups to justify their existance, but I don't believe it is widely accepted as a proper ecclessiology by the Church as a whole. We are not Protestants either.

#14 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:48 PM

The bishop is the embodiment of the local church and stands in Christ's stead. He must be in communion with a canonical jusridiction. This is not legalistic but preserves the integrity of the Church and the Apostolic faith. If a bishop teaches heresy, the faithful are to 'flee from him' (St John Chrysostom) but they remain in their local church and within the Catholic Church. The local synod will make the necessary arrangements. The faithful of the Antiochian Church in Europe are currently without their former bishop, John, who is now Patriarch. These sheep are still within the fold and presumably commemorate the Patriarch during the interregnum.

#15 Father David Moser

Father David Moser

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 3,581 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member
  • Verified Cleric

Posted 28 December 2012 - 04:56 PM

This thread seems to have strayed from the original question - that of the tonsure of a reader. In answer to that question, yes, a bishop may indeed tonsure a reader for a different diocese (including that of a different jurisdiction) but he may only do this with the permission of the ecclesiastical authority of that diocese (the ruling bishop, a locum tenans or at least the synod to which that diocese belongs).

As to the question about bishops and heresy. Heresy is nota "self acting" condition. A person cannot be a heretic until they have been shown the error of their ways, given a chance to repent and refused to do so. That requires the action of a higher eccelsiastical authority (the bishop of a diocese, the synod of bishops of a particular local Church or perhaps even the appropriate patriarch. I do think that all the patriarchates agree that the Ecumenical Patriarch, as the eldest of brothers, can be, in extreme situations, the "court of last appeal". Even so, a person who does not repent of their errors may not be excommunicated as a heretic right away, but may, out of the mercy of the Church, be given an opportunity to humble themselves and repent (for example, a clergyman may be suspended but not deposed initially until they make it clear that the choice to follow a heresy is firm and unrepentant). Therefore just because someone may be of the opinion (right or wrong) that a bishop is a heretic - that doesn't have any effect until such a time as the Church, acting in concert (usually through the local synod of bishops) takes some action. You or I or any other single person or group, acting personally, cannot decide that someone is a heretic or a schismatic, or "without grace". Such action can only be taken by the whole Church.

Fr David Moser

#16 Reader Luke

Reader Luke

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 145 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 28 December 2012 - 06:17 PM

This thread seems to have strayed from the original question - that of the tonsure of a reader. In answer to that question, yes, a bishop may indeed tonsure a reader for a different diocese (including that of a different jurisdiction) but he may only do this with the permission of the ecclesiastical authority of that diocese (the ruling bishop, a locum tenans or at least the synod to which that diocese belongs).

As to the question about bishops and heresy. Heresy is nota "self acting" condition. A person cannot be a heretic until they have been shown the error of their ways, given a chance to repent and refused to do so. That requires the action of a higher eccelsiastical authority (the bishop of a diocese, the synod of bishops of a particular local Church or perhaps even the appropriate patriarch. I do think that all the patriarchates agree that the Ecumenical Patriarch, as the eldest of brothers, can be, in extreme situations, the "court of last appeal". Even so, a person who does not repent of their errors may not be excommunicated as a heretic right away, but may, out of the mercy of the Church, be given an opportunity to humble themselves and repent (for example, a clergyman may be suspended but not deposed initially until they make it clear that the choice to follow a heresy is firm and unrepentant). Therefore just because someone may be of the opinion (right or wrong) that a bishop is a heretic - that doesn't have any effect until such a time as the Church, acting in concert (usually through the local synod of bishops) takes some action. You or I or any other single person or group, acting personally, cannot decide that someone is a heretic or a schismatic, or "without grace". Such action can only be taken by the whole Church.

Fr David Moser


This is certainly not entirely correct. Again, you are being legalistic and more like a Roman Catholic with regards to our ecclesiology. Arius was a heretic the moment he began teaching the Son didn't always exist and was a created being. Nestorius was a heretic the moment he rejected the title of Theotokos for Mary.
Those heretics didn't need a Church Council or a Synod to recognize them as heretics, they were devoid of God's grace the moment they taught the heresy.

There have been some Priests in our Church who have concelebrated with Roman Catholic Priests. Yet some of them have gone unpunished by their Bishop, that doesn't mean that they aren't ecumenist heretics devoid of grace. They rejected the Church and God's grace the very moment that they concelebrated with heretics.

I could also talk about those Bishops who aren't heretics but have committed acts which should have been cause for their removal but because of various circumstances, including blackmail and cover-ups, they weren't ever removed for their acts, and their acts were in fact hidden. Anyone who, like me, has been a part of the OCA should know this very well, and sadly so.

Some of what you said indeed is correct Fr. but I have to disagree and say it isn't entirely correct according to what I've learned over the years regarding our Orthodox faith. If a Bishop fails to be Orthodox and becomes devoid of grace, his faithful are STILL within the Orthodox Church and are not to remain in communion with him, while they are also to remain in communion with the rest of the Orthodox Church.

Look at the situation between Jerusalem and Romania where Jerusalem struck the Romanian Bishops from their diptychs, yet they still made it clear that the Romanian people were still in communion with them, it was their Bishops that they didn't recognize until the problem was resolved.

If I have a Bishop who has committed some sexual sin which should have resulted in his deposition, and yet he isn't, and he later deposes any Priests who called for his removal, then the Priests which he deposed should still be regarded as within the Priesthood and he should be struck from the diptychs and removed, and any of his co-conspirators should likewise be deposed if they are of the clergy.

Another good example is after the robber council of Florence where many Bishops effectively became Uniates including the Roman Emperor. The local clergy refused to commune with the heretical and apostate Bishops, and continued to exercise their regular duties even while their Bishops communed with Roman Catholics. They were still in communion with worldwide Orthodoxy and their Bishops were apostates and heretics even though no formal council had been convened to condemn them. The Russians knew this well when they imprisoned their Metropolitan when he returned from the Robber Council to proclaim the false union.

#17 Herman Blaydoe

Herman Blaydoe

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,157 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 28 December 2012 - 10:17 PM

Devin, sorry but you seem to be ignoring a whole lot of history.

Those heretics didn't need a Church Council or a Synod to recognize them as heretics, they were devoid of God's grace the moment they taught the heresy.

Excuse me, but what, exactly do YOU think the whole point of the Council of Nicea was about? Arius attended the Council as a priest. There WAS a council. Didn't you get the memo?

Sorry but YOU are the one being "legalistic". You might want to look the word up, I'm not sure you know what it actually means, nor do you really understand Orthodox ecclesiology or history. Read up on the First Ecumenical Council, you might be surprised at what you learn.

Edited by Herman Blaydoe, 28 December 2012 - 11:25 PM.


#18 Father David Moser

Father David Moser

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 3,581 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member
  • Verified Cleric

Posted 28 December 2012 - 10:37 PM

Another good example is after the robber council of Florence where many Bishops effectively became Uniates including the Roman Emperor. The local clergy refused to commune with the heretical and apostate Bishops, and continued to exercise their regular duties even while their Bishops communed with Roman Catholics. They were still in communion with worldwide Orthodoxy and their Bishops were apostates and heretics even though no formal council had been convened to condemn them.


Have you studied the history of the council Florence? The situation was much more complex than you make it out to be. Also please note that the majority of the bishops who participated in that council remained in the Church, remained bishops and their clergy and parishes continued to be under their prayerful guidance with the exception of the union with Rome. The bishops themselves, when they finally were able to escape from the captivity that they endured in Italy and return to their own dioceses freely renounced their agreement to that council and were not "reinstated" nor were they re-ordained or anything else that would indicate that they had "lost grace" or were "no longer bishops" but continued to serve the Church as always as if they had always been bishops (because indeed they had).

Fr David Moser

#19 Reader Luke

Reader Luke

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 145 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 28 December 2012 - 11:01 PM

Have you studied the history of the council Florence? The situation was much more complex than you make it out to be. Also please note that the majority of the bishops who participated in that council remained in the Church, remained bishops and their clergy and parishes continued to be under their prayerful guidance with the exception of the union with Rome. The bishops themselves, when they finally were able to escape from the captivity that they endured in Italy and return to their own dioceses freely renounced their agreement to that council and were not "reinstated" nor were they re-ordained or anything else that would indicate that they had "lost grace" or were "no longer bishops" but continued to serve the Church as always as if they had always been bishops (because indeed they had).

Fr David Moser


I"ve studied plenty of the history of the Byzantine Empire, including the Council of Florence. You don't realize that a lot of those Bishops were driven out by their own people and ended up fleeing to back to the God they worshiped, to the Pope himself and some even were made Cardinals and clergymen in the Roman Catholic Church. The Metropolitan of the Russians was imprisoned and sadly escaped and fled to the West (he should have been executed along with the Roman Emperor and other Uniate Bishops at the time).
The greatest fault of the Orthodox after the Council of Florence was that they didn't react harshly enough to their own Bishops and secular leaders who should have had stones tied around their necks and dropped to the bottom of the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea if they refused to renounce the heretical reunion.

In Constantinople itself, the local Priests refrained from any association with the apostate and Uniate Bishop that was in Hagia Sophia, and they staunchly opposed the union and refused to concelebrate with their Bishop and the Roman Catholics until a true Orthodox Bishop was finally put into place.

The Roman Catholics have no grace and their eucharist is no eucharist at all. We accept them without re-ordination because of economy and recognition that what was done was in accordance with tradition even though they were completely devoid of apostolic succession, tradition and the Orthodox faith.

#20 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 28 December 2012 - 11:20 PM

Where contentious arguments are advanced, it would be well for sources and authorities to be cited. Whatever punishments were meted out centuries ago, it ill behoves a contemporary Christian to hold the view that mass murder, even in the past, would have been desirable in any circumstances.

This a very long way from the ordination of Readers, however.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users